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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  May 14, 2016 8:00pm-9:13pm EDT

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sunday night at 4:00 eastern. tv" on "american history c-span3. on lectures in history, university of georgia professor stephen berry teaches a class about coroners in the 19th century south. he discusses them as an agent of the state and talks about records created from their inquest. he argues coroners can shed and spot threats to public health or lack of industrial safety. his class is about an hour and 10 minutes. stephen berry: well, good afternoon everybody. i am glad to see we are all alive and well. you have all survived seven weeks of american history death and dying and u.s. history. week seven.hed
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i am stephen berry, your host for all things morbid. nothing different from anything else, we are talking about the history of death investigation, the evolution of the system of death investigation in the united states, which really matures and comes to age and the don of the 19th -- 20th century. how this becomes forensic science and ultimately becomes the csi series. now we all the pretty lurid sense of death investigations provided by local news? this graphic is everywhere, i found a million of these. always the same with the police tape and the talk outlines. we have a very lurid sense of death investigation, if it bleeds, it leaves journalism in the united states. i want to take the evolution of this system very areas the and talk about how it developed over time. starting with the historical importance.
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in the most obvious area which death investigation is critically important is to the criminal justice system, and this is the most milley or familiar death -- aspect of death investigation. coroners participate from the very beginning. they are there on the scene. they pronounce a cause of death. that sets the entire investigation in motion, and that they are there with the death investigation throughout the process until the very end when they may impact testify at trial. -- in fact testify at trial. we cannot imagine them without this. it would be anarchy, a single day, they decided all laws are off, you get away with whatever. that is what society would be. he would have hurdles -- we would have murderers. have fairperts to
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consequences and precision in the legal system. this is a very familiar aspect of death investigation in the united states, the role it serves in the criminal justice system. i want to call your attention to two other key roles death investigators have played throughout history, apart from criminal justice. these are less appreciated, i think. the first is in public health. death investigators are critical to the public health system, and throughout our history, the coroner and the medical examiner had been on the front line and battle with many of the most mortal threats, raising the alarm and uncovering correlations in epidemics no one else has seen. you have to imagine them as so often happens, they are in a basement, morbid, date little place -- dank little place, doing their work. and what is coming across their examining tables year after
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year. the rest of us may, in a bad ife, see a death or two. they see hundreds. they are the first to see patterns or shifts in how people are going out of the world. so they are the ones who sound the alarm. and i will give you a few examples, you can all multiply them a thousand fold. it is coroners for calling attention to all of the industrial accidents that we see as industrialization continues. so in 1957 they raise this against u.s. steel, seeing a rash of accidents they do not want her in the corporation does not want to advertise this fact. it is the coroners and the m.e. 's office who are seeing these things and leading the charge for improvement in industrial safety. and you may be familiar with the
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1911 horrific fire at the triangle shirtwaist accuray company where 137 young women died, some of them of the flames. others perished in leaping out of eight stories of that building as it was set on fire. nobody tells that story from the perspective of the coroner's really led the charge, they had seen the damage. they had seen time and time again, well before this one factory fire. they have been dealing with this phenomenon, and they were finally it up. 1911, they lead the charge for more industrial safety around the areas of factory fires. newark example, in 1924, new jersey, performing autopsies, they discovered radium, the painter they are using on wash tiles, it was a great innovation. your watch tile would be painted
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with this radium paint and would therefore glow. but the way the workers worked with their brushes, they would always point to their brushes so they could get a fine enough line of paint. so they are constantly dipping this brush across their tong that has had their radium on it. so they die of anemia and other problems. does the coroners that see not just one like my daughter dies under mysterious circumstances, that is one instance. it is the coroner who sees tens, dozens of these cases and starts to see a pattern and starts to figure out what is in fact going on. more examples. they are the first ones for traffic safety laws. everyone gets there first car they are overjoyed. they hit a tree's early thereafter. inas soon as you have cars the 1930's, there are massive accident. there is no safety, stop signs, traffic lights.
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so you are seeing more and more traffic fatalities. there is one case here or there for those who experience it firsthand, but for the coroner, it is happening en masse. so the new york medical examiner , 1931, the greatest source of danger today is the operation of the automobile. or a wisconsin coroner, more lives were lost in the lucky over the past years automobile's then all the contagious diseases combined. you get the sense of the coroners are like the canary in the coal mines. they really see the dangers as they come at us. i will give you a few more examples that were interesting to me. coroners are the first ones to raise the alarm about needle sharing. it is the crazy 1933 case of heroin addicts who are getting malaria. the other first ones to see the pattern. they are the first ones to see
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an epidemic of child abuse and household abuse among the working class in the industrializing cities. they are the first to sound the sids, sudden infant death syndrome. more and more to babies dying for no apparently good reason. they sound the alarm about aids. they get these cases where if it is needle sharing, they all seem to be addicts, i will make my investigation, but they have malaria. this is a curious combination. what could be going on here? the same thing with aids and the body there. and the coke wars, it is coroners for saying wow, this is a rash of violence i have not seen in my time here before. what exactly is going on? with,ase we are familiar
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will smith is in a new movie based on a real anthologist that worked in an allegheny hospital in pittsburgh and started to diagnose brain damage, repeated trauma to the head in american football players. and it has become sort of [indiscernible] so this is that role that is not that lurid, police outline, chalk outline of how important death investigations are. seeing patterns, raising the alarm, as our society evolves, what new dangers are there that we need to deal with? and in a related area, diagnostics. got they work with corpses, not patients, death investigators have never really got, i think, the credit they deserve for their role in public health or the respect they deserve from their medical peers.
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but the truth is they make their medical peers better. and this has been true throughout history. i will give you one example. at the turn of the 20th century, massachusetts hospital made a big push for all the patients to have autopsies are yet everyone who dies in this hospital is going to go down and have an autopsy. we will see if the clinician was right. the clinician says the person, adam, you have died of aids. but the coroner says, no, no. they uncover how massively awful their clinicians were in terms of diagnostics. so this has to go the other way. everyone is a part of medical education has to do autopsies and see this kind of thing first thing. -- firsthand. they played a role in improving medical diagnostics through the role of the autopsy, which is just the start of the panoply of tools in their toolkit as
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forensic science evolved over the course of the 19th century to produce, by the time of the 20th century, the modern day medical examiner. ok, i'm going to walk through some of these quickly. at a conceptual level, autopsies have been around forever. like the first the nfl whose body -- neanderthal whose body drops dead and the other coaxing with a stick. that has been around forever. they did an autopsy on seas are. they found a second -- autopsy on seas are. -- caesar. they found a second stab wound. so there is systematic use but i think changes. the two possible candidates for the father of the modern autopsy are there on the right-hand side of the screen. from 1804 to 1878.
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he presided over the g -- over the anthology institute. y institute. he had a time of -- 70,000 autopsies he supervised. 30,000 he performed himself over the course of his career. he averaged to a day, seven days years.for 45 that is a time of autopsies. how can we do it the same every time so we don't have to introduce any error so we can ensure reproducible results? and to be honest, it disease theory was bad. he hated the microphone. he was in terms of diagnosing diseases and anthologies that kill people, he is not that great. in terms of systematizing the
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autopsy and publicizing it, making it an important part, he played a key role. to 1902, rudolph, maybe more important as the father of the modern autopsy. he is a german anthologist, --ically -- anthologist pathologist. he is a really one who sealed the deal on the case that sell your letter -- cellular pathology is the disease. people used to think it was the humors, we are out of balance, we have these four humors. that is why they draw blood, to sort of reestablish balance. he is like, that is garbage. he worships the microscope. he loves it. so in addition to autopsies, he brought the microscope to the
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center of death investigation. so he deserves to be called the father of the modern autopsy. both of these things come to the united states really quickly in the 19th century. the most influential is not directed here. .illiam awful or he started with both of these men and then came to canada and the united states he becomes the most respected and revered north america physician of his time. he only performed autopsies. dayle made the cause of the . he said i have in watching this case, is on medical case, for two months, and i am sorry i shall not see the force modem -- postmortem. he could not do his own, which he would have loved or than anything else. everything that was wrong with him when they did an autopsy, sure enough, he was not there. so we does it become systematized? that is part of horrific science
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and medicine, at the turn of the 20th century. same thing with floating the lungs, and has been around forever. anyone know what that is? ok, this would get morbid. we talked about that already. so in the case of babies who was born and you want to figure out if the mother has committed in fantasize or the baby was born dead, you would take the lungs of the baby and you would submerge them in water. the idea was if the baby had drawn breath, the lungs would be aerated, and they would float on the surface of the water. if the baby had never drawn a breath and had been born lungs wouldhen the think. you can do the same thing with drowning victims. they drowned because they take in so much water, the lungs should sink as opposed to float. they have been doing that since 1681. in the case of infanticide.
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we do not talk about that much more. it is in accurate in at least -- in accurate at least 2% of cases. as the body composes -- decomposes, gases are released. that is the bloating you see with the civil war corpse. same thing with the baby's lungs. so if the corpse is decaying, their lungs will have gases in them that will have them float. not great. not bad for that era in terms of the degree of error. one of the women was convicted in infanticide, then 2% does not look good at all. but this bloodstain pattern analysis, it was referred to as what dexter made famous. 8% of the weight is blood. we have five leaders, and is very post to the surface. you will release blood with trauma. it has always residues to make
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it difficult to clean. you can imagine bloodstains have been used for death investigations for time out of mind. this guy was killed here, dragged over here. he has blood on his hands. that is not what we are talking about here with the splatter analysis and blood typing. inod typing comes of age 1907, a, b, o, all of that. they use them for paternity, as you can imagine, is that my kid or not my kid? but they are also used in death investigation. , light stain pattern analysis, that comes in the 1880's. you have scientific papers focused on how blood coagulates, how quickly it dries, whether arterial blood is writer, and the bladder analysis, what motion has what results in the bloodstain on the wall?
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go way back,too systematized at the turn of the 20th century. they signed agent contracts in babylon, you would stick your thumb in the clay tablet, it is chiseled in. even in the 1200s, they knew fingerprints, at asia at least, they knew fingerprints were totally unique and would use them in death investigation. it did not come immediately to the united states until 1902. there is this very famous case called the shepherd case in which this guy murders the one in his apartment and then the glass cabinet door was open. he leaves a partial print on one of the shards. because it was partial, it was left after the glass had been broken. it was not there before. it was not broken in half. he put his finger on part of it. it was the first case in 1902,
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in france, where they convict someone on the basis of fingerprint analysis. juries were slow to accept it, as you can imagine. people had never thought about fingerprints. but it moved to the united .tates in 1906 in new york, their finger printing every criminal that comes through new york city i'm making cases on the base -- and making cases on the base of fingerprints. alcohol, death investigators pioneered breath analyzer, way earlier than you would think. 30% of traffic fatalities probably have something to do with alcohol. in the 1850's, it is 50%. isbably -- in the 1950's, it 50%. probably higher before that. so there is nothing more romantic.
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, a sciencean issue invention. they have all of these guys running to create a patent for a breathalyzer test. even forensic dentistry goes way back and becomes stabilized around 1900. the first case of using forensic dentistry in court, this is just absolutely crazy, the salem witchcraft trial. this is a guy, the reverend george burroughs accused of witchcraft, there is evidence he was writing all of these people. they were probably biting themselves and accusing him. but he is convicted. he is hung later. he they say i'm sorry to his kids, but it has been ignominious early form of bite mark analysis and forensic dentistry. but we all know by the 1870's phrasing dentistry is a --
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forensic dentistry is a key part of that murder investigation. all of this comes of age in 1903. i want you to see the historical importance of coroners and what they played in diagnostics. and forensic science. the toolkit they developed over that. eriod. there have been some real our deathith investigation system in the united states, given its importance in granting all due respect to its successes. we have a deeply flawed system of death investigation in the united states. modern-day and ease and coroners andodern-day m.e.'s coroners may not always have the authority. they have prosecutors putting their demands. they have organ transplant specialists, is he dead yet, is
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he dead yet? they have euthanasia, assisted suicide -- modern-day medical examiners work in a difficult environment. they also have a rich history of corruption and incompetence. flipping howit is important death investigation is. over control the coroner's office controls the justice system. the wheels of justice do not turn until the coroner makes some kind of pronouncement about a cause of death and set the wheels in motion. if you don't want the wheels to move, buy off the coroner. so here is a great case. in the 1950's, a man was found rubbing in biscayne bay blindfolded with a knife in his back. the coroner said it was a suicide. [laughter] you can imagine the mob bosses who could control a coroner.
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the death investigation into his death would never get started. even a coroner did not do that low, they could routinely get kicked back. particular undertakers, ,eleasing crime scene photos other bits of nastiness from their own exam table. and this is the gnarly is an earliest bit, quite frankly. it was not until 1958 we had the uniform anatomical gift act, 'sich says coroners and m.e. could not take anything out of the body. not until 1958. we are familiar with the grave robbers in the early 19th century that would steal whole bodies for uses at the medical college. we know that practice went out of favor. but the degree to which they used organs from dead bodies to
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do cap quality tests -- to do pa thology tests, that goes through the 1960's. there was a huge growth in human growth hormones, which you get from the pituitary gland. i wonder how many of the bodies have pituitary glands passed 1968. coroners could make all kinds of money selling them on the black market. .e.amples, one anme was in the habit of dropping dead babies on their heads to learn about science, but they are doing it without consent of the parents. , a man washington routinely stabbed people and was writing a paper on knife wins. trying to advance science.
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on the lucky and in -- a collectedm.e. testicles to test steroid and heroin use. wethe end of the class where read that book, i will ask you at the end of that class whether we are in a better place now or whether you would donate your body to science, she writes a lot about cases where if you donate your body to science, one possibility, not inevitable, you can avoid this, one possibility is your decapitated head will be used to test stuff. that is counting is having donate your body to science. -- having donated your body to science. problemsare flaws and of incompetence too. death investigation in the united dates is one of the least
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professionalize, least standardized areas of american medicine. this actually bubbles to the surface every once in a while and then we tamp it back down and pretend not to notice. i will walk you through few high-profile disasters starting with john f. kennedy. there is probably no autopsy that has been met with greater derision than kennedy's. he was taken not to anywhere in dallas after he was shot but bethesda naval hospital because he was a navy man, and his wife thought they would treat his body with greater dignity, and maybe they did. but they are unable hospital, they are not accustomed to dealing with gunshot wounds, much less the president of the united states with a wound of this nature. and then they have secret service around, the kennedy family is around.
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they got a lot wrong. they thought there were only two bullets, they could not identify the wound track. ogistsvy hospital pathol operating in this confusing environment, it is a wonder this turned out like it did. you will remember this because you were not alive, but i do. michael jordan, one of the greatest athletes of all team you can of all time, compare apples and oranges. he was absolutely fantastic. he was very close with his father. 1993ather was murdered in in maribor county, south carolina. marlboro county had a coroner, marlboroial coroner of county south carolina was a part-time coroner and part-time construction worker. he did not have enough room in the fridge is very unfortunate decomposed body that had been
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carjacked and thrown into a swamp where decomposed. he did not have anywhere to store it, so he put it in the oven. unfortunately [indiscernible] i'm not quite sure why. this became a major investigation. 1993, michael jordan was one of the greatest stars on the planet , and the loss of his father was a real black eye for pathology in the united states. said, iner in this case guess i have done for the coroner's association what tonya harding did for figure skating. this was a disaster. and ribs from the headlines is antonin scalia a. the quite frank we should have -- he quitesy frankly should have had enough chelsea. -- and autopsy.
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he was way overweight, had all kinds of risks. a heart attack is probably what claimed his life, but like kennedy, the conspiracy theory that followed in the wake of failing to do any kind of analysis is the problem. you know the story, right? this is fairly recent. he was hunting at a little mexican border town on a remote ranch. he was found dead by the ranch owner said, we discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. and then it is remote texas, right? and is texas. they don't fly him over, he was pronounced dead with a cause of death by phone. essentially, because that is the way the system works. it has all kinds of holes. hears about this, he says it is a horrible topic, but they say they found a pill
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on his face, which is unusual to find a pillow. and then there is a conservative radio host, this will be bigger. we need a war on commission, the notion that a supreme court none of that would happen if we had a standardized system of death investigation. these are just the high profile disasters. we don't have a system. that's part of the problem. 2009 national academy of sciences lamented death investigation in the united states is fragmented inefficient and hodgepodge. is the medical beminer whose goal should justice and science.
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overlaid on top of a much older system. the system of the coroner. that is what i want to talk about for the rest of our lecture today. i don't want to turn partners into the villains. out the advancements i laid were done by coroners. they discover they were on the front lines of public health. they came forward. i don't want to slaton. , tiger woods in their dna. the coroner's office going way back to time out of mind is not interested in justice or science. it's only been interested in something else.
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not exactly the same thing. does anyone know where the work coroner comes from. corona. latin for crown. hamlet they call him a crown or. he is a representative of the king. the sheriff of nottingham is squeezing the peasants. none of that money is going to the king. the king invents the coroner. he needs someone who can go and make sureriff the revenue is where it's supposed to. it's like the kings vulture. constantly flying around whenever this is a dispute or problem the vulture descendents if someone can represent
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the kings interest. when we have a deaf property is under from its legal mornings. did he commit suicide? that's a crime against religion. the king seizes the estate. if they found the dead norman on the village commons they assessed attacks on the whole and that's where we get the word murder. this very inconsistent. you will receive english imprint. france and germany had different systems. only in british colonies you have the office of the coroner.
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the coroners a creature of the state. not a creature of justice or science. if the state has other interests besides justice and science are other preoccupations in the coroner will be the tool of those interests. captured by those preoccupations. here we arrive at our assignment. telestrates point -- to , nottrate to the point necessarily science and justice
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but representing the state. we will do a deep dive into coroners reports from the south. csi dixie.org. 1582 inquests that were done in south carolina between 1800 and 1900. was this as them homicide or suicide? all that. these the coroners reports as i first came across them when i was at the south carolina department of archives. i'm one morbid do. -- dude.
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i was destined to do to open this box of reports. is all endings. i will only know the endings. it doesn't end well. they always the same. i figured that's true of all of us. no one is ever escaped mortality. it was like a poet was looking gigantically down. varied all making our ways to the grave.
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i became fixated on them. now i'm inflicting this upon you. this is the state versus the dead body. it's a weird way of writing it. even legal terms. you commit the murder against the peace and dignity of the state. the state has an interest it's protecting all these cases. now we have 5082 stories. i will show you how they work so you won't get confused when you doing this. everyone has a cover sheet.
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it is pretty well standardized i law. the state of south carolina. an inquisition indented in the woods near william gardeners. it has to take place where the body lies. inquests is taking place in the woods near william gardner. you always get a date. a justice of the quorum. the body of alexander mcgee. the jurors are all white men.
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they do say upon their oath. he became deranged or insane. he died of exposure. an era in which they would retain people -- treat people with problems at home. to start to see reform movements for penitentiaries. other issues. butr kinds of improvements not 1817. they would take care of this at home. they say he escaped and died of exposure.
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it does give you some data. that's just one of the pages in a typical coroners report. we have here is the dissenting opinion of the minority report was charged take a slave to the slave jail. the slave was injured and could and see no he lashed a chain around him and dragged him until he died. said undoubtedly a racist. that he thought there were some boundaries. he writes this minority report. you also get the testimony of women and slaves. they can testify at trial.
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but they can testify before a coroners inquest. it is written out by the carter himself for another white man so it's testimony that moves through white patriarchy to be documented. it is their version of what happened. inquest jury finds that the woman died of apoplexy. the slaveowners as my mom was hit with a shovel. so we get traces of what really happened. in these inquest files. some idea of the white people of the antebellum south. they are making their mark. this is william hall he can actually write his name the
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coroner wrote his name for him. there just for next right they are a white men but their own illiterate. much more evidence than just the cover sheet. we don't really know what this islooks like nothing we do now. somebody dies and you leave the body there for a long time. i saw that guy walked past me two hours ago. we don't do it that way anymore. they did it that way. this is a cartoon from 1826. i think it's pretty good at getting at when inquest was like. said the manrors is alive surfer he is opened one
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the doctor declared him dead two hours ago he must remain dead. what do you notice about this? who is this guy? this guy probably owns the house. decodee to be able to the way they would draw things in the 19 century. high-class given the wake and whatnot. these guys are called for lower class. they are the jurors. unkempt hair. here is overlapping layers of authority.
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in this one very cramped space. there's the authority of the brought the sort of them all here to discover if you gethas murder them medical authorities in the form of the doctor who's argument is pronouncement. religion's legitimacy inheres in giving meaning to our whatlity and explain to us we should do with our feelings when bad things happen. the authority of religion. there's an authority local knowledge to. they know that the guys are dead. say have an authority based on local circumstances. then there's this authority of death itself.
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there are crammed into this one space and they're really facing death together in the same way that inquests was the product of this cultural process of grappling with death and coming to some kind of conclusion. these guys are probably not interested in science or justice. per se. they have a more simple sense of things. this is a book by one of my friends. the legal culture and the transformation inequality. what was most importance was
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preserving the peace. what was true yesterday should be true tomorrow. i death creates a rift in that idea. those men are trying to come to some sort of satisfactory conclusion and return us to the piece that we had. at the county level you have the coroner's inquest their life is much more subtle. laws are often ignored. why women and slaves can testify. is not exactly a legal proceeding or a judicial proceeding. it is an effort to restore order to the community. it is very different from our sense of the fbi or the sheriff's office looking into a crime.
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a different sort of endeavor. i want to aggregate those 1582 cases. what came out of those massive boxes. truth, it wase what i should've known already. work to discover says a social worker would it's a land of massive poverty. peoplewhere most white are radically underemployed.
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alcoholism there are no social services. the treatment for addiction. no access to birth control. i would say exactly what it will look like from the morgue. they going to drown. massive numbers of unwanted pregnancies and the massive number of dead babies. a lot of spousal abuse and child abuse. souls so desperate that they if you arehemselves white male in spartanburg south carolina and the coroner
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standing above your body. accommodation of alcohol and stupidity. southe this idea the old as a place of knife fights and eye-catching. it's so much sadder than that. the coroner says how did you die? if you are an african-american male you hung yourself. it's a land no social services a place for white men are drinking themselves and their dependents to death. a land of massive rural poverty and inequality. and that's the way people go out of the world in such place. your assignment.
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is going to be to write up one inquest. as a narrative story. take it as a starting point and use it to tell me something about life and death in the 19 century. just take one case. you try to peel it like an onion. i will end with one story told from csi dixie. death of jamese cook. in hamburg south carolina. 1876.
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here is the savannah river which is rolling down to the sea here. of charleston.t one of the most important cities in the antebellum south. 1820rg had been settled in five henry scholz who named the town after the famous city in his native germany. it became a hub of wagon traffic. polling cotton from the interior of the south. we are have railroads yet. most cargo is going by river.
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1825 they don't this rare. the b&o railroad is a famous common carrier. baltimore and ohio railroad. wikipedia says it was the longest common carrier in the united states. but everybody forgets about the hamburg to charleston line. 60,000 bales of cotton's worth $2 million moved through hamburg each year. what happens to hamburg is that becomes a area where the railroad goes around it. to find another route. by 1876 hamburg is a ghost town.
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essentially. what you have after the civil war is african-american specializing in these places. what real estate you actually own. none of it. 40 acres and a mule? forget about it. the african-american church becomes the center of not just religious life of political life and civic life. that's the one building that. it becomes a schoolhouse at a recreation center and a political incubator at a place where people gather. with the firebombing churches that are doing more than just attacking the spiritual life of the people.
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they've been left behind in our ghost towns. you can buy real estate from us nothing. you can build a community. you can safeguard yourself and your kids and your community. that is what hamburg is by 1876. 1/5 of the residents are white people. here's a story that i would tell. 100 year birthday of the united states in 1876. every town should have a parade which means a kind of militia the should read the declaration of independence.
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we will collect all the town histories. that is the idea on the centennial. they have no bullets but they are marching on a good time. they have read the declaration of independence. marching on the center square. there watching the march under their militia captain having donald adams. this is one witness who remembered the marching. they were most equals any company white or colored they haven't well drilled.
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they're constantly having to come through hamburg on the way to augusta from the plantation. becauseiving them crazy it is such a successful african-american town. driving them crazy that these are black men with guns. very well ordered and well drilled. this represents everything they don't want to see in the history of the united states. they tried their wagons directly into the parade. they could've gone around it.
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they demand that doc adams disperse. he says i would do that this is what the president of the united states asked for. matter thisoesn't is the runtime always travel. i cannot be in a new place and a new space or think a new thought. this is the rectangle is travel. doc adams relents. he says make a whole. tommy butler henry gets from his father and comes to the sheriff's office in hamburg to swear on a warrant for doc adams and his militia for instructing a public road.
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rivers one ofce the more remarkable stories from reconstruction. justice in the town. also the mayor of hamburg. he wears a lot of hats. he comes to his office swear the complaint. i want to give you a bit of a back story. this is the best picture we have of prince rivers. he was born in slavery. he comes up to read and write. as soon as the civil war starts he jumps on his carriage horse and joins the united states troops. he is attacked in new york anduse he has chevron's even whites there don't want to see a black officer.
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this guy was one tough hombre. his own commander said readers had no equal. there is not a white officer in this regimen to has such ability. why he shouldn not command the army of the potomac. he should be the king. he was known as the black prince. the power taken county. the most unreconstructed county. carved out of it. he's trying to make a go of interracial democracy. he's got these angry white man who had this notion they're going to drag the captain out
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there. i will have doc adams here. couple of days later matthew shows up at prince rivers and this guy is totally unreconstructed. congress he run of lost to a black man. he tried to take it out on local blacks. utterly unreconstructed. with all of his beautiful be the mostould cold-blooded insolent human being that moralize ever beheld.
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he said he was there is general butler. i don't know if he thinks the confederacy still fighting. he says he is there is the butler's lawyer. he demands that the militia come arms andd stack their that adams formally apologize to the butler boys. treated them on the fourth of july. vouch for for how he treated his sons on the fourth. here is our situation. is here themilitia armory. about 120 rounds of ammunition.
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the government fought the civil war. is the government won the south. some really crummy guns. the people who start flooding into hamburg. they bought the local grocer at alcohol. the folks in the armory are starting to worry about what is going to happen. they opened fire on the armory. returns fire.
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might've been killed by his own troops. he promised he would kill everybody in the armory and then go to heaven until jesus christ himself. they drag you can across the bridge from augustine. they blow a hole in the armory. we have a surviving witness. a lieutenant in the militia. a charles hathaway. check mason to the cook in the
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army and now he ran a gambling operation in hamburg. using they will kill all of us? yes. do now is pretty got to save your soul. give up your wife and children and everyone else. he hung his head and commenced crying. it was terrific disagreement among the whites. bill robinson said the way to do it is going hold court-martial and whatever the court-martial determines you can do that you can do it. a small detachment moved away from the ranks and probably consulted with general butler.
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certainly they drew up a list. henry gets and was one of the voice in the wagon. he was shot in the head. the come back to the ring and they do that for more times. he ran as fast as he could. he was gunned down. what better funding want than that.
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that is the reason we have verbatim quotations from inside the dithering. so what do you do the next day. conversation is that the wheels of justice do not turn until the coroner makes his pronouncement. actually control the car's office, the african-americans. in which we wrote more books about what you do the next day. he stood over the bodies of those six man and he convened a carter's's inquest because that is what you do. matthew butler is a future not -- south carolina senator.
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it makes it to the new york times. but it doesn't make any father. the wheels of justice turn nomura. reconstruction was being rolled back. joshua was interviewed by the wpa in the 1930's. he knows exactly what they lost that hamburg. the government wasn't going to do anything about it. what happens to rivers? he returns to driving a carriage. this is the art. not just the people who were brutalized and killed it is to take a person like rivers who could've been in charge of the army of the potomac taught himself to read and write and then the mayor of the town and a state legislator.
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his story goes from carriage driver to a soldier to a mayor actually carriage driver. driving when people around. someone said he will tweak a piece of statuary. what markers or memorials are on the ground so that we can remember what happened that hamburg. monumenthey erected a to mickeysacre meriwether. the white person who'd been killed. probably caught in crossfire. exemplified the highest ideals of anglo saxon civilization.
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the supremacy of that ideal. then they watched the birth of a nation. remains to prince rivers? this is what happens to hamburg. 1911 the river floods. and basically augustine has the toey and the federal pool get the army corps of engineers out to short the levees. now known as north augustine.
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around the site of the hamburg massacre. very well appointed streets. estate what would've meant for the african-american community to evolve this today. having millions of dollars might that be. i have anything against golf. baby gentrification would've happened anyway. but how do we remember what happened. what markers remain. here's the execution site. that is the jefferson davis memorial highway. that is just one example of the kind of stories that you can write from these inquests. they hope you will write in the weeks ahead. does anyone have any questions?
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death investigation in the united states. anything else. another glum day in the history of death and dying in the united states. jan scruggs founder of the vietnam veterans memorial fund. physical andstwar
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psychological trauma. personal experience of mental health issues. adjusting to civilian life. moderated by joe klein. dr. galloway mr. strokes and joe klein. [applause] joe klein: good afternoon. this is the second time i've been honored to sit on this and both times the topic was veterans.

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